Dollar sign in lifesaver  Once an employer begins laying off massive numbers of employees, and those employees are unable to afford COBRA continuation coverage, the employer’s risk pool begins to shrink drastically, causing a cascade effect. (Image: Shutterstock)

As political leaders remain unable to reach a deal on a new pandemic relief bill, millions of Americans are on the precipice of financial ruin. Enhanced unemployment benefits have run out, eviction moratoriums are expiring, and a resurgent COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc on the economy. Employers, particularly those in the retail and hospitality industries, have laid off millions of workers and many expect significantly more job cuts in the fall.

For the 159 million Americans with employer-sponsored health insurance coverage, losing a job means losing health insurance for themselves and often for their family members. One proposal, contained within the HEROES Act (which passed the House of Representatives back in May), could protect the employer-sponsored coverage market and ensure that millions of people maintain their health insurance coverage during this once-in-a-century public health crisis.

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